When I first started this blog, this was initially going to be my second review…ha..haha..ha…get it? Get it? Wow, that sucked. Seriously, I can’t come up with anything better to start this review…like the protagonist, this game has leached any small amount of talent I have.
The reason I haven’t gotten to this game review till now is I really don’t care. I wanted to care. The first inFAMOUS was decent, and the story just managed to scream loud enough to be heard over the hoards of linear, action/adventure, methodical, everyday games. L.A.M.E. games for short. I was hoping with the next generation of consoles, improved in-game storytelling techniques, and decent foundation, Second Son would usher the PS4 into the next generation with a bang.
Instead, much like Star Wars: Episodes I through III…aka “the abominations of the earth” spoken of in the book of Revelations chapter 17, it was the first of many next gen games able to exploit its past success to earn income while hardly trying.
It is nice to play a character representing a minority, but unfortunately, that’s where any semblance of uniqueness in Second Son ends. Cocky dude with family drama gets awesome powers, has fun with them, but soon realizes he must save the world…yada yada yada…actually I just described the plot to the Green Lantern movie. That should set off alarm bells in anyone’s mind, and if it doesn’t, you must have worked on the new Fantastic Four movie.
To be fair…you can choose not to save the world. But that’s basically the only choice you will make that matters. All the other choices up to that point don’t actually change much around you besides determining whether pedestrians insult or love you. For comparison’s sake, let’s look at Knights of the Old Republic (If you haven’t played it, skip this spoiler and play go play KotOR now). Remember when you are playing dark side and due to the Wookiee debt you can make Zaalbar kill Mission? It was of little consequence to the overall end, but it was a very heavy moment that instantly changed the dynamics of the team you were leading. A turning point where everyone on your team understood they must choose to stay or leave.
This story, on the other hand, reminded me of fishing. Surely this next cast will be the one! There’s gotta be a plot twist or something in the next cutscene! But there was…nothing. In fact, I didn’t give two craps about any of the characters. They are so pathetically one-dimensional that the best relationship in the game is between Delsin and the D.U.P. operator who he calls to taunt in order to lure out his enemies for “showdowns.”
The graphics are pretty nice in this game, and the effects of your powers look outstanding. Especially smoke. The city of Seattle is well designed, but with only a few repetitive side missions, there’s no real reason to explore. Voice acting does what it can to breathe life into the script…unsuccessfully, at no fault to the actors, and the music is not memorable in any way. Nothing in this game is memorable in any way.
This game suffers the fate which Michael Cain continually warned us of in Interstellar. Nothing has ever gone so silently or gently…daintily, if I do say so…into that good night (of my unopened games library) than Second Son.
Even Green Lantern, at least, will be forever burned into our minds…an entire generation will remember Green Lantern.
This game made me wonder why I had so much fun with Diablo III and yet never returned to Second Son after I beat it. The only truly redeeming quality to each game is obviously the gameplay. Second Son is certainly entertaining when you are fighting bad guys, knowing you are progressing the story. Neon was easily my favorite power, with Video coming in close second. Once the main story is finished, however, it’s like returning to your favorite childhood theme park ride and realizing…you were an imbecile back then. The biggest drop is two feet and there’s blue Slurpee sticking your butt to the seat.
You do get to spray paint street art, which is magical. But seriously, the random events throughout the city don’t vary much, and I didn’t really care about doing them. Once I had my karma full, I just focused on missions and ignored random events.
Bounding across rooftops is delightfully unbound by physics as always. In a nutshell, this game reminds me of playing Spider Man 2 on my Xbox. Other than better graphics, the two are just so similar. Random repetitive events, linear story (although in this one you have “choices”), free roam of a city where you go to specific spots for missions…superpowers…obviously.
Had this game been released in 2004, it would have blown my mind. Now, it feels like it doesn’t belong. Or perhaps my gaming tastes have changed to the point that two foot drops and Slurpee-to-butt interactions aren’t as appealing to me anymore.
My wife played through it, and in the end she had the same opinion. The characters were about as enticing as an all weekend marathon of C-SPAN. Although…to be fair to C-SPAN, sometimes this happens…
I played through Second Son once…and only once. I watched the other ending on YouTube. Destiny and even Journey are pinnacles of replay value in comparison to how absolutely numbing this game is. To be completely honest, I would replay The Last of Us over Second Son if only to feel some emotion while playing, though my controller may be devoured in the process.
I started this review not really caring that much, and as it progressed, I became more and more upset at this game. How had it just snuck past me just how mediocre it is? I don’t let commonplace games sit in my library! What magical power of lethargy does this game hold over me?
The truth is, Second Son is so abhorrently ordinary, I don’t have any motivation to destroy it for how terrible it is, and I’m certainly not going to praise it or suggest you should buy it.
The mathematical equation for this game is: (All games)/(# of all games)= inFAMOUS: Second Son. If Plain Jane and Average Joe had a son…it would be Second Son. If it had a flavor, it would be the taste of your own saliva. You wouldn’t even know it was there till you thought about it.